Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Climbing war memorials during protests an ‘insult’, to lead to jail time in UK

London, Feb 4: The UK government has proposed plans to criminalise the act of climbing war memorials and remembrance sites, as witnessed during a series of widespread protests in the country against the Israel-Gaza conflict.
UK Home Secretary James Cleverly has issued guidance this weekend which will lead to a three-month prison sentence for anyone who mounts a memorial during a protest march because he said that ascending memorials was “an insult”.
The senior Cabinet minister reiterated his support for peaceful protest as he unveiled the new public order offence powers for Britain’s police force.
“Recent protests have seen a small minority dedicated to causing damage and insulting those who paid the ultimate price for their freedom to protest,” said Cleverly.
“Peaceful protest is fundamental in our county, but climbing on our war memorials is an insult to these monuments of remembrance and cannot continue. That is why I am giving police the powers they need to ensure they have the tools to keep order and peace on our streets.”
The measure, designed to apply across England and Wales, is scheduled to be introduced as an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Commons.
The UK Home Office said the proposal will form part of a wider plan set to be revealed next week to tackle disorder at protests.
Under the new plans, climbing on war memorials will become a specific public order offence which could lead to a prison term for up to three months and a GBP 1,000 fine. The Home Office said the measure would “stop protesters disrespecting those who have given their lives for our country”.
The announcement comes soon after 10,000 pro-Palestine protesters marched in central London on Saturday calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. (PTI)

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